Brenham, Texas, USA-headquartered Blue Bell Creameries is expanding the recall of products that were produced at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant to include Banana Pudding ice cream pints which tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and additional items manufactured on the same line.
No illnesses associated with consumption of products being recalled have been confirmed to date. However, these items have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The products being recalled – which range from Dutch Chocolate ice cream in pints to orange sherbet in quarts and Home Made Vanilla ice cream in half gallons – have been distributed to retail outlets, including foodservice accounts, convenience stores and supermarkets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.
On April 3, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily suspended operations at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant to thoroughly inspect the facility due to a 3 oz. institutional/foodservice chocolate cup that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and was immediately withdrawn from all outlets. That product was available only to Blue Bell’s foodservice and institutional accounts and was recalled along with 3 oz. vanilla and strawberry institutional/foodservice cups.
On April 4, the company began working with retail outlets to remove all products produced at the Oklahoma plant from their service area. These items are identified with a code date ending in O, P, Q, R, S or T located on the bottom of the carton and they are a part of the voluntary market withdrawal.
On April 7, the US Food and Drug Administration notified Blue Bell that the Banana Pudding ice cream pint tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. This product was produced at the Oklahoma plant on February 12, 2015. Subsequently Blue Bell is recalling all products made on that one particular production line, from February 12 – March 27, 2015. These products were produced on that same line and have a code date ending in either S or T.